News from Africa/Europe Area Director Bryce Whiting
Pastor Alain Don’Tony is hoping to plant a new church in the city of Port Elizabeth. He has rented a tent to hold meetings Nov. 17 – 19. He is trusting God for chairs, publicity and for volunteers to sleep in the tent to protect it against thievery during those three days.
Banking systems and postal delivery in Mozambique can be quite slow. A case in point concerns the 2016 Christmas in October gift from our WHFMS. Several times late last year, Conference President Augusto Ochi Simbi had gone to look for it and each time came away empty-handed. Since a trip to the bank takes nearly half of one day, he stopped going to look for it. It was discovered only in August that the money had arrived. This scenario is timelier than it first seems, for a drought continues to ravage the land. Private gardens are not producing, which increases the hunger in rural areas. Knowing that the need for this gift of money is great, Augusto traveled on his one-speed bicycle 14 days to visit pastors in the AC Conference. One can imagine the tears of relief that flowed when, in response to prayers for daily bread, a servant of God shows up at their doors with money to purchase food for their families.
Bible and theological education is difficult to afford for the common person. To meet the demands, Conference President Hezron Michael Nyaoro has organized free Bible courses for pastors and church leaders. He has booked several visiting instructors who volunteer their services. Local church families open their houses to offer the students a place to sleep (which often means an empty spot on the floor). Despite the cost, there remains an element of sacrifice as the student forgoes necessary earnings to feed a hungry family and cover his own travel (no pastor there owns a car) and meals. The next session begins October 10, one week in length, and is expecting 35 students.